Wiki Scots 2022: David Villa
ISO basic Laitin alphabet
D'Nealian Cursive.svg
Circle sheer blue 29.png
Circle sheer blue 29.png
Cursive script 'k' and capital 'K' in the U.S. D'Nealian script style

K (named kay /ˈk/)[1] is the elevent letter o the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

History an uisage

K is the 11t letter o the Inglis alphabet. In Inglis, the letter K uisually represents the voiceless velar plosive; this soond is an aa transcribed bi /k/ in the Internaitional Phonetic Alphabet an X-SAMPA.

Egyptian hieroglyph DProto-Semitic KPhoenician
Etruscan KGreek

The letter K comes frae the letter Κ (kappa), which wis taken frae the Semitic kap, the seembol for an open haund.[2] This, in turn, wis likely adaptit bi Semites who haed lived in Egyp frae the hieroglyph for "haund" representin D in the Egyptian wird for haund, d-r-t. The Semites evidently assigned it the soond value /k/ instead, acause thair wird for haund stairtit wi that soond.[3] In modren-day Inglis slang, the wird "k" is uised as a substitute for the abbreviation "O.K.", or "Okay." In Internaitional Morse code it is uised tae mean "ower".[4]

In the earliest Latin inscriptions, the letters C, K an Q wur aw uised tae represent the soonds /k/ an /g/ (which wur nae differentiatit in writin). O thir, Q wis uised tae represent /k/ or /g/ afore a roondit vowel, K afore /a/, an C elsewhaur. Later, the uise o C (an its variant G) replaced maist uisages o K an Q. K survived anly in a few fossilized fairms sic as Kalendae, "the calends".[5]

When Greek wirds wur taken intae Latin, the Kappa wis chynged tae C, wi a few exceptions sic as the praenomen 'Kaeso'.[2] Some wirds frae ither alphabets wur an aa transliteratit wi C. Hence, the Romance leids hae 'K' anly in wirds frae ither leid groups. The Celtic leids an aa chose 'C' ower 'K', an this influence carried ower intae Auld Inglis. The day, Inglis is the anly Germanic leid tae productively uise haird C in addeetion tae K (awtho Dutch uises it in learned wirds o Latin origin an follaes the same haird/saft distinction in sic wirds).

Some Inglis linguists prefer tae reverse the Latin transleeteration process for proper names in Greek, spellin Hecate as "Hekate", for ensaumple. An the writin doun o leids that dae nae hae thair awn alphabet wi the Latin ane haes resultit in a staundartization o the letter for this soond, as in 'Kwakiutl'.

In the Internaitional Phonetic Alphabet, [k] is the seembol for the voiceless velar plosive.

Several ither alphabets uise characters wi sharp angles tae indicate the soond /k/ or syllables that stairt wi a /k/, for ensaumple: Arabic 'ك', Hebrew 'כ' or 'ק', Korean 'ㄱ'. This kynd o phonetic-visual association wis studied bi Wolfgang Köhler. Houiver, thare are an aa mony ensaumples o roondit letters for /k/, lik 'క' in Telugu, 'ก' an 'ค' in Thai, 'Ք' in Armenian, 'ክ' in Geez, an 'C' in Latin.

Relatit letters an ither similar characters

Computin codes

Numeric chairacter referenceKKkk
EBCDIC faimily210 0D2146 092
ASCII 175 04B107 06B
    1 An aa for encodings based on ASCII, includin the DOS, Windows, ISO-8859 an Macintosh faimilies o encodins.

Ither representations

See an aa


  1. "K" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (1993); "kay," op. cit.
  2. a b "K". The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989, online
  3. Cyrus H. Gordon: The Accidental Invention of the Phonemic Alphabet
  4. Stephen Phillips (4 Juin 2009). "International Morse Code". Archived frae the original on 12 Februar 2014. Retrieved 3 Julie 2013.
  5. Sihler, Andrew L. (1995). New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (illustrated ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-19-508345-8.

Freemit airtins

  •   Media relatit tae K at Wikimedia Commons
  •   The dictionar defineetion o K at Wiktionary
  •   The dictionar defineetion o k at Wiktionary

The ISO basic Laitin alphabet
Letter K with diacritics